Changes come calling at Safaricom

March 23, 2011
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – Mobile Telecommunications operator Safaricom has introduced a new organisational structure that seeks to improve efficiency in service delivery.

Dubbed Safaricom 2.0, the new structure will see various departments within the organisation merged.

The leaner structure has introduced three revenue centers, which has merged key business units and created new departments.

The reorganisation includes creation of the Consumer Business Department, Financial Services Department and the Enterprise Business Department as the three main streams.

"The reasons for developing these customer facing units is to ensure that they are responsible and accountable for the company\’s bottom line and deep insight to the units that are closest to the customers," Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore told journalists on Wednesday.

The shakeup has also cut down the number of managers whose titles begin with the word \’chief\’ that report directly to the Chief Executive Officer from 13 to nine at the same time doing away with the title "chief" for senior managers, redesigning them into General Managers and Directors.

Peter Arina (formerly Chief Commercial Officer) becomes the General Manager for Consumer Business while Betty Mwangi (formerly head of M-PESA) becomes General Manager Financial Services.

The finance, investor relations and procurement departments have been merged and will be headed by Chris Tiffin as the Chief Financial Officer.  Les Baillie will continue heading the Investor Relations Department while Francis Murabula will head the Procurement and Logistics Department. Both of them will report directly to Mr Tiffin.

Joe Ogutu (formerly head of Human Resource) becomes the Director Resources; Ivor Wekesa becomes the Director Risk Management while Nzioka Waita becomes the Director Legal, Regulatory and External Affairs.

Mr Collymore said the structural reorganisation aims to speed up decision-making within Safaricom.

He said he was also looking for a lean executive team with fewer reporting layers that can support the company\’s growth in an increasingly competitive market.

"Right now we are at nine layers within the organisation but we need to get that down to about seven so that we can get much swifter decision making and that is closer to the customer," the CEO said.

All top-level managers had to re-apply for their jobs with Mr Collymore saying: "We have the right people with the right experiences, in the right roles who will do the right work as they champion the agenda."

The shake-up however saw Robert Mugo, head of IT and John Barorot, Chief Technical Officer exit the company, to pursue other opportunities. The newly formed Technical and IT department remain without a Director.

Other positions not filled include the Executive Business Analyst, Director Marketing and Customer Care and Enterprise Business General Manager.

"We expect to fill these vacant positions within the next few days from candidates both within and out of the organisation," Mr Collymore said.

Reorganisation of Safaricom\’s operations is the culmination of a major strategy and business review plan that Mr Collymore initiated in December.

It also marks the first show of hand by the new CEO since taking over from Michael Joseph in November, as he seeks to take a firm grip of the company\’s operations.

He maintains that there would be no re-trenching following the streamlining.

"This is not a redundancy exercise," he reiterated.

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